Property taxes can be appealed

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Although the deadline for spring taxes has come and gone, property taxpayers can still file an appeal if they feel they were given an unfair bill to pay.

According to information from Ripley County Assessor Shawna Bushhorn, about 180 appeals have been filed so far this year, with about half of those already being resolved.

“I just ask people if they would be willing to sell their property for the appraised value,” Bushhorn noted. If they are, then the trending estimates are pretty accurate most of the time. It’s when someone feels their property has been appraised at a much higher amount than the property is actually worth that has people asking for Form 130, an appeal form that is available from the county assessor’s office located on the first floor of the Ripley County Courthouse in Versailles.

Bushhorn explained that the trending process, used this year to determine property taxes, was a tool to try to get to a market value assessment. Some people saw an increase in the amount of property taxes they are required to pay, while others saw a decrease. Trending was designed to hopefully get everyone paying the amount of taxes they should be paying, and give others relief if they’re paying too much. Sometimes that needs a little adjustment. This was a process mandated by the state.

You can pick up a form to appeal your property taxes, fill it out and attach some type of proof that your home, buildings, property etc. is not worth what has been assessed. After this is turned back in to the assessor, that information goes before the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals for review. “We’re really fortunate to have two certified appraisers sitting on the board,” noted Bushhorn.

After the board reviews the appeal, they can either find the taxpayer’s complaint legitimate and instruct the assessor to make adjustments, or have the taxpayer schedule a hearing on the matter.
Bushhorn said she has two days of hearings scheduled for next week. She also noted that taxpayers have the right to an appeal and can file 45 days after receiving their tax bills, which puts that deadline about the end of September for this year.